ShareThis Page
News

Pakistani general survives terror attack

| Friday, June 11, 2004

KARACHI, Pakistan -- Attackers with assault rifles and bombs ambushed the motorcade of Karachi's top general Thursday, killing 10 people but missing their prime target in the latest terrorist assault in Pakistan's volatile commercial capital.

Lt. Gen. Ahsan Saleem Hayat, his uniform spattered with blood, arrived safely at his office and was "perfectly all right," army spokesman Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan told The Associated Press.

Militants hiding behind walls on either side of a main road peppered Hayat's convoy with gunfire in the well-orchestrated attack, witnesses said. Six soldiers, three policemen and a bystander were killed, and at least 10 people were wounded, including Hayat's driver and a guard.

More were saved by a police officer who hurled a bomb left at the roadside into a vacant lot, where it exploded. Another bomb found nearby, loaded with 11 pounds of explosive and rigged to a mobile phone, was defused.

Hayat "was the target and he escaped the assassination attempt," Sultan said.

The attackers came under fire from soldiers in the convoy and fled, apparently in a Toyota van that was found abandoned in another part of Karachi, pocked with bullet holes and stained with blood on the inside.

Investigators identified no suspects and no group claimed responsibility, but suspicion immediately fell on Islamic extremists, angered by Pakistan's efforts in support of the U.S.-led war on terror.

On Wednesday, Pakistani forces clashed with suspected al-Qaida fighters near the Afghan border, leaving 20 or more people dead, most of them militants -- the latest salvo in a long-running struggle to free Pakistan's lawless tribal areas of terrorist suspects who have migrated from Afghanistan.

The attack in Karachi, which initial investigations indicated involvement of a dozen or more people, follows at least three unsolved bombings in the city of 14 million people in the past month that triggered deadly riots by Sunni Muslims and minority Shiites.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me